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New president elected in Mexico after dozens of candidates died in cartel violence ‘bullets before the vote’

(The Center Square) – Mexico this weekend elected its first female president, a socialist committed to implementing the former president’s policies after 30 local candidates were murdered in what has been described as cartel-orchestrated “pre-vote shootings” ” violence sweeping the country.

Far-left “climate scientist” Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena party defeated her female opponent Xóchitl Gálvez in Mexico’s general elections on Sunday. Her term starts on October 1.

Sheinbaum, a former mayor of Mexico City, has pledged to continue many of the policies of her mentor, outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Obrador has argued that America’s “drug problem” is not Mexico’s problem and that he was not interested in “controlling” cartels smuggling fentanyl across the border into the US. He also claimed that cartel crime was declining despite reports to the contrary, implemented a “hugs, no bullets” cartel policy, and supported Mexico’s lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers claiming they were responsible for gun violence in Mexico.

Obrador also demanded that Mexico receive U.S. funding to advance the Biden administration’s “legal pathway” policy, which would see foreign nationals expedited to the U.S. rather than deported after illegally entering the U.S. through Mexico, The reported Center Square. He also called on Americans not to vote for Republican governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas because of their commitment to border security.

Despite Obrador’s claims, “Mexico is facing a crisis of kidnappings, disappearances and other criminal violence, which has killed more than thirty thousand people every year since 2018… largely perpetrated by gangs and drug cartels,” according to the U.S. Global Global Report Council on Foreign Relations. Conflict tracker. “Drugs from the cartels are also flowing across the border, fueling a drug overdose epidemic in the United States,” it says, echoing claims by federal, state and local law enforcement officials in the US.

The fentanyl epidemic is fueled by Mexican transnational criminal organizations, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. They “remain the largest criminal drug threat in the United States” as “the primary wholesale sources of drugs for domestic gangs responsible for street-level distribution.”

Under the Biden and Obrador administrations, fentanyl became the leading cause of death for American adults, and American children under the age of 14 were dying from fentanyl at a higher rate than any other age group, The Center Square reported.

Under Obrador, according to the human rights organization, ARTICLE 19, “the number of aggressions against the press in Mexico surpassed all previous records in 2022, with a documented attack every 13 hours.” In 2022, 696 attacks on the press were documented, making this “the most violent year for journalism” since ARTICLE 19 began recording the data in 2007.

After 12 journalists were killed in Mexico in 2022, Mexico was positioned “as the deadliest country to practice journalism in the Americas, with rates comparable to those of war-torn countries,” the group found. Under Obrador, violence against journalists increased by 85%; During his presidency, 37 journalists were murdered, according to Article 19.

As violence escalated, Obrador became increasingly anti-American, and in anticipation of Mexico’s bloody election cycle, an international coalition led by the Texas Public Policy Foundation called on policymakers in Washington, DC, to change their policies toward Mexico.

Last July, the coalition argued, “the old policy consensus that underpinned NAFTA, USMCA, and a generation of cooperative and friendly U.S.-Mexico relations has collapsed. The Mexican government is not an ally of the United States and can no longer properly be described as a partner. …The Mexican government and Mexican criminal cartels exist in conscious and willing symbiosis, at multiple levels, up to and including the Mexican presidency,” devastating the lives of citizens of Mexico and the United States.

A few months later, a gang and cartel operation was underway, dubbed “bullets before the vote” by the Los Angeles Times. Ahead of the June 2 election, 749 victims of violence, including 231 murders, had been reported by the Mexican advisory group Integralia a week before the election during the 10-month election cycle.

Integralia’s new report shows that political violence has increased by 150.5% this election cycle compared to 2021. “If the daily average (2.8) is maintained, we expect a total of more than 760 victims after the elections,” said Integralia.

316 attacks on candidates were also recorded, including 34 murders in the months leading up to the June 2 elections.

The types of violence it tracked included “murders, gun attacks, threats, kidnappings, disappearances and other forms of violence with high impact against officials or former members of the country.” Victims include “officials, politicians or former politicians, aspirants or candidates, relatives of such actors and additional victims.”

Ahead of the 2018 elections, when Obrador was elected, 48 candidates were murdered, Mexican daily El Universal reported.

So far, neither Congress nor the president has responded to the Texas-led coalition’s concerns about the border crisis, cartel violence or Obrador’s election interference.

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